Thursday, June 07, 2007

Neflix Pix

2 years ago I finally caved into Netflix. Since then, Kelli (one of my four roommates) and I have shared an account that's under my name. However, since she's been in school, she doesn't get a chance to watch all of the movies I rent. However, since she wants to see a lot of the movies I do (and almost always says "I want to see that" when she sees what I've rented), I've told her the past six months that I'd make a list of the movies she should watch.

So here goes: The top ten with three honorable mentions.

The Battle of Algiers: I knew it was good. I had no idea it would affect me as much as it did. Shot in black and white using actors to reenact part of the war of independence of French Algeria, and shows atrocities committed by both sides in the struggle. This is a must see.

Becket: I'm a little in love with Peter O'Toole, and after this film I'm a lot in love with him. A show about the despotic scoundrel Henry II(O'Toole) and what happened when he appointed his best friend as the arch bishop of Canterbury. The leads shine, and I gained new admiration for Richard Burton after this.

Maria Full of Grace: Unsympathetic (to a point), unbiased (as much is it can be) this film simply tells the story of a Columbian drug mule. Touching and one that you ponder upon long after the credits roll.

The Third Man: With a script by the always fabulous Graham Greene and set in one of my favorite time periods (filmed in Europe directly after World War II), this film is one of the best noirs I've ever seen.

End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones: So, what do you get when your core band members are a heroin addict, a man diagnosed with OCD and a card carrying member of the NRA?

Network: "I'm mad as hell and can't take it anymore." You know how there's films or books that are almost prerequisites for being an informed member of society? This is one of them.

Grizzly Man: What sets this apart and is what haunts me to this day is the darker side of Timothy Treadwell. One of the greatest documentaries I have ever seen.

Patton: A character study masquerading as a war film. Patton is crazy, but that adjective doesn't begin to describe his intelligence, quirky idealism, and the attributes that make him a sort of tragic figure if you will. Another great film.

Lillies of the Field: I'm not as familiar with Sidney Poitier as I should be and this film about a disillusioned war vet being out maneuvered by a German nun in the desert of California took me by surprise. I knew it was good, I had no idea how great it was.

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco: This is the documentary that put Jeff on the mainstream radar. Great film, performances are great...and it doesn't hurt that Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of my all-time favorite albums.

The General (Silent) Buster Keaton is a champ. Surprisingly sophisticated and wry. Yeah, its silent but its also one of the best comedies of all time.

Honorable Mentions:

The U.S. vs. John Lennon: Even though Yoko is one of the producers, I think its a pretty good source for information about John Lennon's involvement with the peace movement. The footage is fascinating, the interviews intriguing, and the story is strong. Especially for those of us who weren't born when all of this was going on.

Why We Fight: I read an article where Christopher Guest proclaimed this as the best documentary he's ever seen. I'd disagree, I think there's a couple on this list alone that are stronger overall, but its good. It had me until the last fifteen or so minutes but still definitely worth seeing.

The Bridge over the River Kwai: Perhaps the best performance I've ever seen Bill Holden give. Gritty, melancholy and a nailbiter. Definitely one of the great WWII films.


aisy said...

thanks for the tips. i've seen some, but i'm interested in network and the ramones one after your brief review.

Laurie said...

Nice list!

I loooove Netflix. We should become friends on there so we can recommend movies and check out each other's queue!

Sherpa said...

Aisy: Which films have you seen?
I'd be interested in your take of network and especially end of the century after you see it

Laurie: Fo sho!

Bryan Hickman said...

What's cool about this list is that I recommended at least two of these movies to you.

Just sayin'.

Jesse Harris said...

Thanks to Netflix, I've seen a fair number of movies I wouldn't ordinarily watch. When it's an "all-you-can eat" model, I don't feel so much like I've wasted money when I get a dud so I take some more chances.

Anyone who's thinking about Netflix should consider the 2/mo plan. On the 1/mo plan, you spend a lot of time waiting for the next movie. The $5/mo extra is worth always having a movie on hand.

Sherpa said...

Hmm, should I take Bryan's ego down a couple of notches and tell him I don't really pay all that much attention to his suggestions or that most of the stuff he suggests I've already made my mine about? Nah, I'll just let him think he's my uber hip, ultra cool, movie friend.

Sherpa said...

Jesse- Do you do 2 a month or 2 at a time?

SJ said...

They MADE a film about Wilco? Thanks for letting me know about that!

Jesse Harris said...

Ack. Two at a time is what I meant. We're on the one at a time plan right now, but we're also able to supplement our viewing with rentals from the library. We barely have time enough to watch what we're currently getting from Netflix anyway.